4. Anthony Black, Arkansas
Black would be perfect playing behind Lillard and Simons, with Lillard or with Simons, or even with Lillard and Simons together.
He’s a 6-7 pass-first playmaker, quite possibly the smartest player in the entire 2023 draft class, and has the length and functional athleticism to be above average on the defensive end.
Black averaged 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals on an underachieving Arkansas team that featured another likely lottery pick in Nick Smith Jr. Smith is a pure scoring guard, so it shouldn’t be much of an adjustment for Black to step into a situation like Portland’s and thrive next to another one.
The 19-year-old is a natural passer from any area of the floor and an instinctive creator in the half court, which is only magnified by his height. He can run an offense or simply be a high-level connecting part of it, moving the ball and manipulating defenses.
Black isn’t a great shooter, which is holding him back from being a lock as a top-5 pick. He’s athletic enough and crafty enough, though, to be able to get to the rim and score.
Regardless of what Cronin does with the Blazers roster this summer, Black would be a fit.